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Mukluk
Nov. 13, 2012, 08:50 PM
Do you walk only? Jog at all? Lope? Go faster? Just curious. Of course I am assuming that you aren't jogging or loping unless the conditions are appropriate for that. Thanks.

Arab_Mare
Nov. 13, 2012, 10:07 PM
Depends on the horse and what type of ride I'm doing that day. I do jog and lope frequently however.

Lori
Nov. 13, 2012, 10:10 PM
It depends on the pony. I ride alone because my pony is the only equine on the dairy farm. My old pony could w/t/c on trails safely, but he is in WV with a COTHer family. My POA greenie is at the walk with maybe a short trot only outside of the arena. We are still working on the gremlins in the bushes thing. ;)

kewpalace
Nov. 13, 2012, 10:37 PM
I usually ride alone and will do alot of trotting as I use my trail time usually for conditioning. When I ride with others, we mostly just walk, occasionally a short trot, but not often. I rarely lope, although my horses would be fine with that. Never go faster; don't see a need.

Macimage
Nov. 14, 2012, 12:23 AM
On my now retired Arab I loved loping on the trails by myself and going out with just the two of us. Many times I would let him run flat out and it was exhilarating. He could go forever and loved trail riding as much as I did. He was always alert and interested in everything around us. He'd be the first one to spot other riders or deer long before I'd notice. I'd see him looking off in the distance and sure enough, there would be something where he was looking.

I owned his Mom and foaled him myself 28 1/2 years ago. I would go anywhere on him and he took great care of me for the 20+ years I rode him. He is retired now.

My current Arab is 4 1/2 ys. old and is just about to be put under saddle. Time will tell if we have a good partnership.

I spend lots of time with them (working/training, hanging out, grooming, etc.) and being Arabs they do seem to bond incredibly well with their person.

On the other hand, I have my husband's fully trained Paint horse to ride on trail. I will trot and lope him but we do not have the same bond and so far I haven't grabbed a handful of his mane and let him go flat out. We do not have the same partnership and trust that I had riding my Arab but we've only had him a few years.

I still take my retired boy out for hand walks along the trail and he still flags his tails and arches his neck when he sees other riders. I would love to be able to ride him across the hills once again but we enjoy our walks.

kewpalace
Nov. 14, 2012, 10:40 AM
On my now retired Arab I loved loping on the trails by myself and going out with just the two of us. * * * He'd be the first one to spot other riders or deer long before I'd notice. I'd see him looking off in the distance and sure enough, there would be something where he was looking.That's my 1/2 Arab mare as well; she has totally spoiled me, LOL. Very alert & always knows what's going on. My little QH filly, not so much, but she has her good points too!.

OveroHunter
Nov. 14, 2012, 10:40 AM
Lol, I get this question all the time from our guests. People who are not around horses very much assume people who do a lot of riding must gallop the entire time while trail riding... I guess because that's typically what you see in westerns...

When I'm trail riding with friends or DH, I mainly walk. If I'm specifically conditioning a horse I will trot fairly often. However, there are times when I get a wild hair up my rear and let loose ;). I'm one of those lucky people who has a horse that can go from a gallop to a walk and not get jazzed up at all. He can go from dead gallop, stop on a dime, and then walk off like it never happened :)

SuckerForHorses
Nov. 14, 2012, 11:12 AM
My mare: whatever we feel like, including wide open if that's the choice. She's my old reliable and never presents me with any funny business, ever.

My gelding: No way in hell is he going fast than a trot, until he has proven to me a million times that he can canter without bucking me off or being as asshole. He has a lot of proving to do!

snydere02
Nov. 14, 2012, 11:39 AM
I like to mix it up. I will walk, jog, lope, and go faster. This time of year I use the fields to my full advantage and make them one big arena.

Appsolute
Nov. 14, 2012, 02:02 PM
Most of the time I will walk / trot / canter – and even hand gallop out on the trail (I head out a few times a week).

About once a week or so I will consciously do a “walk” ride – which will be much longer than our usual rides, and include many hills (but even then I will usually do a little trot – but not allow the horse to get winded) – long slow miles to add fitness and muscle.

Luckily my mare is quite a star, and can go from galloping to walking on the buckle with no issues at all.

mvp
Nov. 14, 2012, 02:48 PM
I'd rather die than do a walking only trail ride. I find it hard on the hips to grind along at the walk ad nauseum.

And it raises financial/existential questions: I paid how much for this day of walking on 4 legs rather than 2? What, at bottom, was the horse-cum-mode-of-transportation for? Damn, it I can't do something better on the back of a horse than I can on my own legs, then I need my head examined.

Oh, and horses have ruined hiking and nature for me. It's an affront to have anyone suggest that I'd like walking around outside on my own legs. That's what horses are for.

Tee
Nov. 14, 2012, 03:31 PM
Depends on who I am riding with and how busy the trail is. I typically ride at one place (HUGE tree farm) and have met too many people ripping down trails only to almost wipe someone out. On trails that I can see for a long ways I will trot and lope. Remy enjoys it and I do as well. But for me, the trail ride is as much for my horse as for me so I'm not going to ask him to work his butt off either.

Emily&Jake
Nov. 14, 2012, 04:33 PM
I do mostly walking, especially on the rocky stretches, but once it gets less rockier, we let our horses open up and lope and gallop.
There's one section of a trail we ride on that's a long stretch of grassy old logging road, and that place is really fun for 'racing'. This trail is hardly every busy and we're usually the only ones out there when we go. Plus it's such a huge property, MILES and miles of trails, that even if it is busy, your chances of seeing other riders are slim.

katarine
Nov. 14, 2012, 07:23 PM
hee hee hee (https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=3654215562663&set=vb.1492791407&type=3&theater)

and that's on my 'dresssssaggge horse'

we plain old dog walk a lot, flat walk a lot, gait (running walk) some, if the ground is good enough ...and we rack a little...and we canter and occasionally gallop.

My favorite story was my DH trying to get the jump on me at East Fork on his tall but slow mare. I took off on Chippy and left them- and kept going on the bullet until his ears said I'm outta gas, mom. So we eased up and stopped and walked on slack waiting on Maggie.

And we waited.

and finally Maggie and DH emerged from behind the pines, legs flapping, arms flapping, shirt tail flapping. She galloped so poorly her white legs looked like two long sleeved shirts on a clothesline, flapping.

Oh, we laughed at poor Maggs ;)

qtrhrslvr
Nov. 14, 2012, 08:50 PM
I often trail ride with lots of gaited horses so we are always moving out. I don't know what all their gaits are called but we keep up. My favorite gaits are slow, lope and mosey. We always let each other know before picking it up so no one is caught off guard.

ReSomething
Nov. 14, 2012, 08:59 PM
Pony doesn't think it's right to do anything but walk or rack under saddle but on the right trail you can get to racking pretty fast. The old guy still thinks trees eat horses.
Back when I rode my own horse or a trusty friend's horse a nice canter or even a blowout down the beach at the surf line was generally in order. When I rode my own mare to get somewhere, lessons or horseshows, we always moved out, walking on pavement and trotting or cantering on grass or dirt verges. Having to do that does get old though and teaches your horse bad habits.

I don't mind walking for an hour, if the scenery is pretty it gives you lots of time to appreciate it.

Mukluk
Nov. 17, 2012, 12:27 PM
What inspired this post for me was going on a ride with two of my western friends.... they walked the whole time. Except for my friend with the mule who had the mule lope a bit here and there. I was so bored walking the whole time- OK to be honest I did cut off and do some trotting and cantering and galloping. Maybe it's because I have a TB? When I ride by myself or with my friend who also has a TB we do a fairly even amount of walking and trotting (sometimes more trotting) and several canters or faster : ). Is it just that when you have a TB and you like speed walking is too boring? My mare seems to love moving out. She walks fast. If she could have her way she would be galloping the whole way but that's not allowed!

lilitiger2
Nov. 17, 2012, 02:36 PM
Walk trot lope let 'er rip :) depending on the conditions! All of my guys are up for that (one not so reliable but reliable enough), fun! I have also gone on walk only rides with people who didn't want to go faster and if the company is good, thats fine too!
IfI had not had them out in a while, great to review the ground basics so I have some safety! Not fun waiting till I am out on a trail to find out I have aproblem BTDT

lilitiger2
Nov. 17, 2012, 02:38 PM
On a related note, never sure of the ettiquette about fast walkers. Mine is, not gaited but two of them have nice, forward, ground eating walks. WHen I go out with slooooooow walkers, I find I have to wait a lot, slow them down, and I am never sure if it is rude of me to not do this more often or rude of them to get their horse to gear up.

katarine
Nov. 17, 2012, 03:27 PM
On a related note, never sure of the ettiquette about fast walkers. Mine is, not gaited but two of them have nice, forward, ground eating walks. WHen I go out with slooooooow walkers, I find I have to wait a lot, slow them down, and I am never sure if it is rude of me to not do this more often or rude of them to get their horse to gear up.


There's no great solution, ya know? My DH's first horse was the perfect first horse for a 43 YO beginner. but he had one walk, and it was slow. He got nervous if asked to walk in out a bit, it really did worry him LOL. We've had a variety of trail horses over the years and my current 15.1 hand TWH has a huge 'normal' walk= easily a foot of overstride w/o asking for anything. We finally bought DH a horse whose walk matches Chip's- I took Chip along when we tried horses, those strides needed to match.

Sometimes it is just hard to ride a goer with a slower.

Sacred_Petra
Nov. 17, 2012, 03:55 PM
I do a lot of trotting, cantering, and galloping, as well as lateral movements when trail riding, but thats my job. My boss really stresses that its our job to make sure that the horses we train can and will do everything, and be calm about it. We're lucky enough that our conditions are rarely limiting, and we have access to a lot of great fields. I too get bored just walking, so I spend a lot of time long trotting and loping, except on my own horse who is still pretty green.

As for the question about riding a fast walking/gaited horse with slower horses, my general rule of thumb is to match the faster paced horse. Now if the slower horse is really green, or has a green rider, then the slower horse dictates the pace.

Mukluk
Nov. 18, 2012, 09:23 AM
I think horses generally walk at a pace that is comfortable to them and my girl is usually faster than everyone else. I would not feel comfortable asking a bunch of other folks to speed up their horses (most folks I ride with have stock type horses vs. I have a long legged long strided TB). And some folks have older horses who just want to mosey. Sometimes I get Angel to walk a little more slowly or I just ride ahead and then wait for people. I also do lateral work and other "arena" work on the trail when the conditions are appropriate (e.g. not whilst transcending a trail consisting of granite boulders. Off to do a big "Toys for Tots" fundraising ride in a few hours!!! (unless rain cancels).

WildBlue
Nov. 18, 2012, 12:36 PM
"Walking only" gets painfully dull, even if you mix it up with exercises and rugged terrain. Even the greenies can usually do some trot work without being too obnoxious.

NoSuchPerson
Nov. 18, 2012, 12:46 PM
Oh, and horses have ruined hiking and nature for me. It's an affront to have anyone suggest that I'd like walking around outside on my own legs. That's what horses are for.

I'm the same way. I did a trail ride in the Canadian Rockies this fall. We passed lots of hikers trudging up the mountain and all I could think was "Why would anyone *walk* up here when you could ride a horse?" :)

ezduzit
Nov. 19, 2012, 11:35 AM
I used to trail ride on roads and tracks and went at all 3 gaits where appropriate.

Now, my trail riding is just around the yard, outside the school and we walk. If I do more than that I slip back into schooling and that's not the purpose of being 'out'. It's too let down and relax.

Mukluk
Nov. 19, 2012, 12:58 PM
I'm the same way. I did a trail ride in the Canadian Rockies this fall. We passed lots of hikers trudging up the mountain and all I could think was "Why would anyone *walk* up here when you could ride a horse?" :)

Because it burns calories, is great for out bodies and minds, and makes us a better athletic partner for our horse? I enjoy both riding my horse and hiking. Also there are trails/routes that a horse would not be able to traverse (such as a granite boulder field). Some things though, such as crossing 3 foot deep streams are more easily done on horseback!!! :)

rhinestone_cowgirl
Nov. 19, 2012, 01:30 PM
It depends on who I'm with. My trail buddy and I always ride at the pace comfortable with the least experienced person in the group. When it's just the two of us, we will let the horses go for a good gallop in some spots but if we go out with some less experienced/nervous riders, we go at the pace they are most comfortable with.

oliverreed
Nov. 19, 2012, 02:23 PM
I have tried "just walk" rides with my horse and he HATES it. He will walk just fine out on the trail if he knows I'm going to let him go-go-go. I really like riding alone because he likes to go, he's a Paso, and is faster at the walk than any of my trail riding buddies' horses, most of whom are interested mainly in doddering along slowly.

NoSuchPerson
Nov. 19, 2012, 03:24 PM
Because it burns calories, is great for out bodies and minds, and makes us a better athletic partner for our horse?

I did eat a ginormous piece of chocolate cake when we took a break at the turnaround point, so I'm sure I would have benefited from doing a bit of the trip on two legs rather than four. :yes:

foggybok
Nov. 19, 2012, 09:27 PM
I'd rather die than do a walking only trail ride. I find it hard on the hips to grind along at the walk ad nauseum.

And it raises financial/existential questions: I paid how much for this day of walking on 4 legs rather than 2? What, at bottom, was the horse-cum-mode-of-transportation for? Damn, it I can't do something better on the back of a horse than I can on my own legs, then I need my head examined.

Oh, and horses have ruined hiking and nature for me. It's an affront to have anyone suggest that I'd like walking around outside on my own legs. That's what horses are for.

Well, you'd hate riding around here then.... Most of them are definitely WALKING trails.... Too dangerous to do anything else! But trust me, you don't get bored (unless you find riding along looking at a 2000 ft drop just off the trail boring...me it tends to keep me awake!).

But on appropriate trails, I like to trot and canter too. My main riding buddy doesn't so I get bored on some rides with her. The forest roads are usually a great place to move out a bit but she doesn't like to do it... But another buddy is a speed demon, so I can get me fill.....

BensMama
Dec. 29, 2012, 12:01 AM
I go as fast as the footing and terrain allow. :D

rtph
Dec. 29, 2012, 12:26 PM
That's my 1/2 Arab mare as well; she has totally spoiled me, LOL. Very alert & always knows what's going on. My little QH filly, not so much, but she has her good points too!.

I ride quarter horses, and the gait just depends on the horse and circumstances. Probably trot mostly.

But I have noticed that some horses are very keenly aware of the distant presence of others, people, animals, etc. My border collie is usually with me, and some horses learn to watch the dog. If the dog scents something and wheels around, the horse will look to see what it is. Amazing what they learn.

quarterhorse4me
Dec. 29, 2012, 01:01 PM
Often trail rides are social events for us. Often we will walk an entire 20 mile trail ride. Who is in a hurry....no worries, great horses and good friends.

Skyedragon
Dec. 29, 2012, 08:34 PM
I walk mostly, but it also doesn't help that my trail riding buddy is mounted on a western pleasure horse. Her horse lopes about as fast as my horse walks. When I am alone I will trot some.

caballero
Dec. 30, 2012, 11:06 AM
The trails around here always have plenty of spots where a trot or canter can be easily taken. So I take them, and I ride with like minded people. And I usually don't pass up a good opportunity for a gallop.

Walking for 20 miles? No thanks.

cowgirljenn
Dec. 30, 2012, 01:21 PM
When I introduce a new horse to trails, I primarily walk the first ride or two. I just want them to get a chance to look around, see that nothing will eat them, and settle in.

After they're doing well, I add in trot/jog and canter/lope to our trail time.

alabama
Dec. 30, 2012, 01:59 PM
W/T/C and, with my retired gelding, run like hell if we wanted to. I'm not sure my lazy mare could run like hell if a bear was chasing her. ;) She's a sweet ride, though.

painted02
Jan. 8, 2013, 07:27 PM
We do so many things! We trail ride our show horses along with some trail-only horses. I walk, jog, long trot, lope, hand gallop, pivot, turn on the forehand sidepass, etc. I want my horses broke to my cues where ever we are. Plus, it's a great way to get a show horse to really stretch his legs and get some reach in his stride. I also use the trails to get the show horses fit--ride one, pony another.

It's also dependent upon who I'm riding with. Not all the horses can do those things or handle their "buddy" horse loping away, and I don't want to make a dangerous situation.

NorthwoodsRider
Jan. 8, 2013, 08:05 PM
At trainer's barn, I ride a small Standardbred while she rides her TWH. Standardbred has one of the fastest walks in the barn, but she still needs to trot occasionally to keep up with the TWH, who of course looks like she's barely doing anything while covering huge amounts of ground. Trainer plans on us doing more trotting and some cantering on the trail this winter, since we don't have an indoor and the outdoor has lost it's footing. Packed snow on the trail has great footing for our barefoot horses.

"Closer to home horses" that I started riding this fall are a pair of 20 year old Arabians who are totally herd bound to one another, and haven't been ridden in a while. I wasn't sure of their fitness level, and am riding alone, so most of the fall was just getting to know them at walk/trot (only trotting while going "away" from the barn since I'm trying to work on the herd bound issues). Did one short "celebratory" canter on the gelding towards the end of the fall one day when I'd just gotten some really good news and things were going really well with him on the trail. It felt great! Will be doing more of it once I've had time to condition them with some long slow distances in the spring. Plan on taking him out on Friday, but will be walking only now that winter has fully set in and he's a woolly mammoth, otherwise I'll spend more time trying to dry him out after than I will riding him.

barrelracer12
Feb. 13, 2013, 09:23 PM
depends on the horse my arab is VERY surefooted he was trying to trot through an old cornfield! i dont even think i could walk through it myself. but he had absolutely no problem with it at all of coarse i didnt let him trot but if you know the trial and you know your horse you can do it. my pony on the other hand the one in my picture he would trip just walking so there was no was i wouls lope on a trail

equinekingdom
Feb. 14, 2013, 02:50 PM
depends on where I am, the footing, who I'm with, etc. If I'm with more advanced riders I'll trot/canter. if I'm with beginners, stay at a walk.